Steampunk pipe-lamp with valve-switch

PeteJ sends in "a steampunk desk lamp I built, the valve is also the on/off switch." That's a hell of a switch.


  1. Perfect, if only he’d stripped the plastic off the handle (or maybe used an old gate valve instead).  And yes, when I have completed my own steampunk piece I’ll put it up for everyone to criticise.

    1. Most likely it works by turning a small electric switch inside the pipe instead of opening/closing a real valve.

        1. Possibly you could just do it by having two brushes next to the ball, so that when the valve is open, the brushes are touching nothing and the circuit is broken, and when the valve is closed both brushes are touching the ball and the circuit is closed.

          This makes sense, but would be slightly flimsy. Does anyone know further details, or is a DIY version? I tried to create something identical to this several months ago, but gave up due to the flimsiness of the switch I created.

          1. Well, OK, two brushes touching the ball would switch one side of the line.  But how to you get the other side of the line around the ball?

          2. Not sure I understand. The two brushes can be on the same side. You don’t need anything going through the ball. The switch is at one edge of the circuit in that model, it’s not at a mid-way point.

            I made a quick crappy image to explain.

            That said, if you wanted to have the switch be between the source and the light, you could just have a brush on each side.

            All of this depends on the brushes solution making sense, though.


            (Anyone else hate how Skitch can’t just post an image to a web page any more? I have to find something that isn’t crap…)

  2. Nice looking lamp. 

    But to clarify….

    Steampunk = made out of brass and copper (plus a lot of “style”)

    Made out of brass and copper != steampunk

  3. When I lived in an old Boston brownstone there were some lighting fixtures like that.  It even had a valve, but it wouldn’t turn.

    The reason is that they had outfitted the electric lights by pushing the wires through the old gaslight tube.

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